Above caption: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Discusses Mueller Report On Senate Floor WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 07: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell (R-KY) walks to the Senate floor to speak about the Mueller investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 U.S. election where he stated "case closed", on Capitol Hill on May 7, 2019 in Washington, DC (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
“Democrats are unwilling to accept the investigation’s conclusion that there was no evidence of an illegal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. Instead, they are continuing to go through “the five stages of grief,” including denial with regard to Mueller’s findings and anger toward Barr for how he’s handled the release of Mueller’s report.” Sen. Mitch McConnell-R-KY
Ever since the Special Counsel’s Report (redacted) was released it continues to come under intense pressure based on several of the conclusions and Attorney General William Barr’s representation. Barr’s summary was challenged by those who felt some of the language communicated was deceptive. It became under more scrutiny once it was discovered staff of the Special Counsel voiced public protest which was further supported by subsequent letters to Barr from the report’s author; Robert Mueller.
Donald Trump and his administration have been insistent in their lack of cooperation aimed at clarifying questions which have arose now that some of the report is in the public domain.
Russia interference not aided by anyone from the Trump campaign
Indeed, Robert Mueller was the Special Counsel who authored the report and concluded there was Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. However, to the question of the Trump campaign being involved in those efforts, it was determined there was none. To grasp why there continues to be questions over the report, one only has to carefully read the mandate of the Special Counsel and the scope of its charge. While Russian interference was the core reason of the investigation it also included ancillary issues that might rise to individual criminality. Thus, several key members of the campaign were indicted and convicted, and some are currently serving time in prison, awaiting to serve or have served time for their behavior.
In addition to those who have been charged a critical finding has been the behavior of the President of the United States; Donald J. Trump. Volume II of the report lays out specific instances of obstruction orchestrated by Trump. Fortunately for him, the Office of Legal Counsel has a policy that a currently-serving president cannot be charged with an offense. That does not mean such conduct was exonerated, it simply means under current guidelines charges cannot be made.
Robert Mueller is a seasoned professional with a distinguished track record. Once AG Barr got his hands on the report and communicated his interpretation, those such as Donald Trump applauded Mueller’s professionalism. Perhaps he was premature in his applause?
For those who take the time to read the report they will see that Mueller made clear of Trump’s behavior as well as his inability to bring any charges. Instead, what some are dismissing is the report clearly signals any remedy to hold Trump accountable for his behavior must come from a political process. That process is called impeachment and administered by Congress. The House of Representatives brings the impeachment charge and the Senate holds the trial to determine an outcome. Further, the process is pretty straightforward as you need a majority of the House of Representative to pass impeachment charges, and you need two-thirds of the Senate to convict. Therein lays the political theater as while impeachment charges very well could pass at the House as the Democrats hold the majority, it is unlikely the Senate will convict based on the Republicans maintaining control. That of course is as of today, as the political process is fluid and public sentiment could force a different outcome.
Let’s move on from the Mueller Report
Response from Mitch McConnell (R-KY) via tweet
Response from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) via tweet
In the meantime, you wonder why Donald Trump and is Acolyte’s are eager to shut down any further discussion of the Mueller report? Why does anyone want to hear from Don McGahn who is mentioned in the report and was attorney for the office of the president? Why does anyone want to hear from Robert Mueller, when his report speaks for itself? Who in their right mind has the gall to question anything in the report?
One with the most basic understanding of our political system would ask some elementary questions which led us to where we are today (here is a sampling):
- When the Russia issue was first reported, why didn’t Donald Trump and those in his campaign simply acknowledge they had Russia contact? Why did they vehemently deny such facts existed?
- Why did Donald Trump claim to agree with cooperating in releasing his tax returns, only to reverse course and adamantly refuse such request?Based on Donald Trump’s businesses and questionable behavior regarding the way they operate, the tax returns are just one primary document which highlights your assets and holdings. In a presidential campaign, release is important because it documents any relationships which may cloud the objectivity that the office of the president must maintain.
- Although not against the law……why was Donald Trump adamant in employing close family members as part of his administration?
- Why does Donald Trump use his properties to host various public events or to engage international leaders?
- Why has there been so much turnover in his administration when he publicly communicated “he could and would hire ONLY the best?”
As a communication strategy to close the investigation some have mentioned the democrats or those who might not support Donald Trump only want to reletigate the 2016 campaign. Others claim Trump is doing a great job, why threaten him with further harassment? They appear to dismiss the core issue in confusing performance with behavior. Many, particularly pundits and acolytes of Donald Trump have accepted that as long as Donald Trump signs into law those things they wish or appoint those they support; his behavior, regardless if it is criminal or not becoming of the office of the presidency, is irrelevant.
So, while it might be pleasing to some to close the discussion of the Mueller case, it is clear new questions have occurred and until they are fully resolved the public will continue to want answers.